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Thu, 13 Mar, 2014 03:42:59 AM
Ukraine issue discussed in parliament
Finland believes in amicable solution through negotiations
FTimes-STT Report, March 13

Both treasury and opposition in parliament on Wednesday expressed concerns over European Union’s planned sanctions against Russia.

During a discussion on Ukraine, leaders from both tents observed that economic sanction on Russia would adversely impact many countries including Finland.

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said compared to the other EU nations, Russia was of much greater significance to Finland.

He said the “worrying” Russia-EU terms could end up hurting Finland’s economic progress.

Although there were fears that the Ukraine crisis could directly threaten Finland’s security, the premier remarked that the EU had to be responsive to actions that exacerbated the situation.

While assuring that the country’s defence was closely monitoring the developments, he said it was only normal for the Finns to feel insecure.

Katainen categorically said the only way out was negotiation. 

The air in parliament was one of hope that a solution could be reached without resorting to economic sanctions.

Timo Soini, leader of opposition Perussuomlaiset (Finns Party), said sanctions should be avoided (by the EU) at all costs.

Christina Gestrin of the Suomen Ruotsalainen Kansanpuolue (Swedish People’s Party of Finland), one of the components of the six-party alliance government, also discouraged economic sanctions against Russia.

“Although Finland has strongly criticised Russia’s actions because they were contrary to international laws, we are not convinced that economic sanctions will be the right way forward,”she said.

Mari Kiviniemi of opposition Suomen Keskusta (Centre party) said sanctions did not serve the interests of either the EU or Russia.

On Tuesday, President Sauli Niinistö said of all the EU member states, Finland would be hit the hardest by sanctions. 

 

 
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